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Columbia drops Nellie McKay

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Columbia drops Nellie McKay

Old 01-04-06, 02:44 PM
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Columbia drops Nellie McKay

NEW YORK (AP) -- Nellie McKay has been dropped by Columbia Records after a dispute over her sophomore album, "Pretty Little Head," turned ugly.

The singer-songwriter, whose 2004 album, "Get Away From Me," was a breakout hit, said Columbia decided not to distribute her new album, which had been set for release Tuesday. McKay had pressed for a 23-song, 65-minute version, while Columbia wanted a 16-song, 48-minute cut.

"It ain't no use to sit and wonder why -- they kept the coffeepot, I got the dog," the 21-year-old McKay said in a statement. "All that matters to me is that I can continue to make irritating music which will baffle and enrage."

Calls by The Associated Press to Columbia Records, which is owned by Sony BMG, weren't immediately returned Tuesday.

The split was first reported by Billboard magazine, which said that at recent shows, McKay had given the personal e-mail address of Columbia chairman Will Botwin to fans, encouraging them to urge the release of the album's longer version.

"I thought we had resolved things favorably," McKay told The New York Times for Tuesday editions. "We were just finalizing the artwork."

Botwin, however, left the company and was replaced by former Epic Records chairman Steve Barnett. At a New York concert following the executive change, McKay dedicated a song to Botwin and said the way he was forced out was unfair.

Soon after, McKay was told her album wouldn't be released by Columbia in any form.

"Pretty Little Head" had already been supplied to the press, drawing very positive reviews from Spin and Blender magazines.

McKay has contributed six new songs to the soundtrack of the recently released Rob Reiner film, "Rumor Has It ..."

She will co-star with Alan Cumming, Cyndi Lauper and Ana Gasteyer in the musical "The Threepenny Opera," opening on Broadway in March.
I loved her first cd and can't imagine why Columbina would want to muck with her second album when they gave her so much freedom on the first album. I've heard bits and pieces of "Pretty Little Head" and its been all good so far. Hopefully, she'll sign with an indy label where she can do whatever she pleases.
Old 01-04-06, 03:21 PM
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I think Columbia is going to regret this one day. Bizarre story.
Old 01-04-06, 03:59 PM
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Is this the rapper who did Country Grammer?
Old 01-04-06, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Aphex Twin
Is this the rapper who did Country Grammer?
Naw, it's that chick who sang that song "I'm like a bird, I'll only fly away..".
Old 01-04-06, 05:55 PM
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Wow. Seems like she's not one to compromise her beliefs (or she doesn't know how to pick her battles depending on how you look at it).

I loved her first album but her insistence that the record company release her 60 minute album on two 30 min long CDs was a head scratcher.

I wonder if this was the straw that broke the camels back after many little demands/requests type battles.

Still, this really sucks as I was looking forward to hearing more from her.
Old 01-04-06, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DRG
Naw, it's that chick who sang that song "I'm like a bird, I'll only fly away..".
No that's Nelly Furtado...
Old 01-04-06, 07:07 PM
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I've never even heard of her.
Old 01-04-06, 07:42 PM
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I wasn't really surprised by this. Nellie McKay would do better on an Atlantic or maybe as a revival to Island. And yes, I know they are subsidaries to other majors. I can imagine Warner Bros. doing her well, though. Actually, Geffen would do justice to her.
Old 01-04-06, 08:45 PM
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For those not in the know, I present one of my favorite albums of 2004:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0001AP07M
Old 01-04-06, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Tscott
I loved her first album but her insistence that the record company release her 60 minute album on two 30 min long CDs was a head scratcher.
Yeah, I thought that was weird, too. Admittedly, I procured the album by other means, but I really like it. In fact, I'll likely buy the DualDisc version this week (comes with a concert video and a few bonus tracks). Anyone have it?

Not to hijack the thread further, but does anyone know if her official site is owned by Columbia? Right now it's completely blank, which I could see as a protest on her part if she owns the site. Thing is, she had a bunch of live shows available for download and I was wondering if they are gone forever. If so, guess that's what I get for waiting.
Old 01-04-06, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by DJLinus
Yeah, I thought that was weird, too. Admittedly, I procured the album by other means, but I really like it. In fact, I'll likely buy the DualDisc version this week (comes with a concert video and a few bonus tracks). Anyone have it?

Not to hijack the thread further, but does anyone know if her official site is owned by Columbia? Right now it's completely blank, which I could see as a protest on her part if she owns the site. Thing is, she had a bunch of live shows available for download and I was wondering if they are gone forever. If so, guess that's what I get for waiting.
I have the DualDisc and it was well worth the $20 I had to spend at FYE to get it. Quite a good 5.1 mix is on it and the mini-concert is good too.

Nelliemckay.net isn't her official site, Nelliemckay.com is. There's also www.nelliemckay.org which now hosts all the concert mp3s and alot of demos and such.
Old 01-05-06, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Howiefan
No that's Nelly Furtado...
Didn't she play the fat maid on "Gimme a Break" ?
Old 01-05-06, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by nickdawgy
I've never even heard of her.
Me neither. Was she on American Idol or something?
Old 01-05-06, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Drexl
Me neither. Was she on American Idol or something?
No, she actually has talent.
Old 01-05-06, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
No, she actually has talent.
Oh come on, those people on American Idol have talent. That wasn't needed.
Old 01-05-06, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisKnudsen
Oh come on, those people on American Idol have talent. That wasn't needed.
Old 01-05-06, 07:20 AM
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Too bad, because Get Away From Me was a real breath of fresh air. Enjoyable stuff.

I saw her open for Barenaked Ladies in 2004 - it was her and a keyboard, looking very tiny on the stage of a huge outdoor venue, but her voice was just huge.

I'm sure Pretty Little Head will find a label.
Old 01-05-06, 08:59 AM
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Was she on American Idol or something?
Nope. She was Laura Ingall's nemesis on Little House on The Prairie.
Old 01-05-06, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by NitroJMS
I loved her first cd and can't imagine why Columbina would want to muck with her second album when they gave her so much freedom on the first album. I've heard bits and pieces of "Pretty Little Head" and its been all good so far. Hopefully, she'll sign with an indy label where she can do whatever she pleases.
Yeah, that's what has me vexed. What does it matter if she wants to have 21 songs instead of 14 or however many? That I don't get. If she's confident enough in the material I want to here it. Her album isn't like a pop one (even if it is pop music), where you need to craft the perfect order to put the songs in and all. Just slap the music on a cd and give it to me. She's kinda like Fiona Apple in that way. Just let her do her thing.
Old 01-05-06, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by boredsilly
What does it matter if she wants to have 21 songs instead of 14 or however many? That I don't get.
I'm sure part of the reason is probably royalties - 21 songs vs. 14 songs could mean 50% more $$$ going to the artists/songwriters.
Old 01-05-06, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisKnudsen
Oh come on, those people on American Idol have talent. That wasn't needed.
Very few do.
Old 01-06-06, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by nickdawgy
Very few do.
Very people have talent on American Idol or very few people do have talent? More of the latter but I don't watch American Idol but I think I am going to start this season but I have heard the winners and runner-ups and most of them do have strong vocals and the ability to sing. Granted, they are popsters and most of them don't write their own songs but there is different types of talents.
Old 01-06-06, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisKnudsen
Very people have talent on American Idol or very few people do have talent? More of the latter but I don't watch American Idol but I think I am going to start this season but I have heard the winners and runner-ups and most of them do have strong vocals and the ability to sing. Granted, they are popsters and most of them don't write their own songs but there is different types of talents.
Being able to holler out some oooh-oooh-AAAAHs in the middle of a song doesn't mean you have talent for anything except singing. And since 95% of American Idol contestants sing in a very similar style, I'd say they have talent, but it's myopic at best.
Old 01-06-06, 08:39 AM
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"All that matters to me is that I can continue to make irritating music which will baffle and enrage."
Oh, how artsy.
Old 01-06-06, 09:27 AM
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Now let's try to work this out:

The artist said "I want to release a long album with a lot of songs on it"

the label said "We want to sell a shorter album with fewer songs"

the artist said "I don't want to do that"

the label said "we don't want you working for us and we won't release anything"

And the music industry is blaming MUSIC BUYERS for their decrease in sales the last few years???

-jason

PS- I've never heard of Nellie Mckay, so I'm not vested either way here...

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